With 570 million Spanish speakers, 470 million of whom are native, Spanish ranks as the second most spoken language in the world. However, it is logical in such a vast geography that different dialects are used in different regions. In addition, word context varies according to the culture. Therefore, as in all other languages, good research of the target language, culture, and audience when providing Spanish translation service is essential for success.
Let’s say you own a chain of restaurants in both South America and Spain. You have prepared an advertising campaign for this restaurant chain, and a customer is calling a server in the ad. In the content to be published in South America, the word “mozo” should be used to address the server, but in Spain, the term “camareo” is used for the same action. You may ask yourself, “What difference does it make which one I use if they both mean server in Spanish?” or “Why should I pay a ton of money for such small details and get Spanish translation services?”
Another example is, let’s say, your client wants to order beans. In Chile, people use the word “porotos” for beans, while it is necessary to use the word “frijoles” for the target audience in the Mexican region. If you want to run a successful campaign, the whole point is to address your target audience using the same language as them.
You might even think, “Google Translate is advanced now, and I can easily translate Spanish using it.” But translators don’t just learn a language during their four years of college education. If you look at the curriculum of the translation department of any university, you will understand how many technical details they are trained in. For example, Spanish has masculine and feminine distinctions as with the Romans. But machine translation tools often provide you with output using masculine articles. In such a case, if you want to address women but have used masculine articles, you have already lost from the beginning.
Things to Consider When Translating Spanish
If you want to provide your customers with quality Spanish translation services, there are a few points to pay particular attention to:
- Masculine and feminine articles
- Which Spanish dialect will you use?
- What region is the target audience in?
- The cultural context
A small but lifesaving note: Whatever language combination you receive translation service in, ensure that the editing and proofreading are part of the service. Translation, proofreading, and final reading are inseparable triplets for a successful and accurate output.